Best Value Colleges in South Carolina

South Carolina is home to some of the best value schools and some of the best spring break locations in the region, like Myrtle Beach and other beautiful Grand Strand beaches.  Read More

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1Clemson University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$474,600
Total 4 Year Cost$108,400
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$51,600
2The Citadel - Military College of South Carolina(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$415,900
Total 4 Year Cost$97,100
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,560
3Clemson University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$408,600
Total 4 Year Cost$174,400
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$51,600
4The Citadel - Military College of South Carolina(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$347,100
Total 4 Year Cost$165,900
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,560
5University of South Carolina - Upstate Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$266,400
Total 4 Year Cost$86,600
Grad Rate40%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,000
6University of South Carolina - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$239,100
Total 4 Year Cost$93,900
Grad Rate73%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,000
7University of South Carolina - Upstate Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$228,100
Total 4 Year Cost$124,900
Grad Rate40%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,000
8Winthrop University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$175,900
Total 4 Year Cost$97,100
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,600
9Southern Wesleyan University (SWU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$173,500
Total 4 Year Cost$129,300
Grad Rate44%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,320
10Bob Jones University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$173,300
Total 4 Year Cost$99,700
Grad Rate61%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,080
11University of South Carolina - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$172,400
Total 4 Year Cost$160,600
Grad Rate73%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,000
12Charleston Southern University (CSU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$157,500
Total 4 Year Cost$135,300
Grad Rate36%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,200
13Limestone College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$134,800
Total 4 Year Cost$138,200
Grad Rate36%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$37,600
14Coastal Carolina University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$134,400
Total 4 Year Cost$88,600
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$32,760
15Winthrop University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$130,000
Total 4 Year Cost$143,000
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,600

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

Whether you're interested in attending college in this charming southern state because of its beach resort ambiance or because of the great value you'll find at its schools, consider availing yourself of PayScale's South Carolina College ROI Report to seek out the best value colleges in South Carolina before applying.

First up in our South Carolina College ROI Report rankings is Clemson University, which enjoys a national ranking of 127. Located Clemson, South Carolina, the school is made up of six colleges and has a student population of around 21,000 students. The average cost of a Clemson education is $108,400, and alumni report a median return on investment of $474,600; with financial aid, that figure increases to $514,100. CU offers a wide array of degree programs and has put itself on the map in many ways, including with its International Center for Automotive Research. CU easily offers the kind of college return on investment South Carolina residents can benefit from and has produced many notable alumni through the years, including U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond.

Overlooking the bucolic Ashley River in Charleston, South Carolina, The Citadel - Military Institute of South Carolina appears at the 187th slot on our national list of 20 Year Best ROI colleges. With the average cost of a Citadel education totaling $97,100, the school is easily among the best value colleges South Carolina students can attend. In fact, the 20 Year Net ROI of the school, which was founded in 1842, is $415,900. With financial aid, that number increases to $462,700. The Citadel's five schools offer 19 majors and 35 minors, and its School of Engineering is of particular note. This emphasis on engineering is also a big reason why The Citadel does so well in the College ROI Report, as engineering majors are in high demand and easily find high-paying jobs right out of college.

Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina is ranked 594th nationally. The cost of an education from the school averages $93,900, and the 20 Year Net ROI is $239,100 without financial aid and $268,100 with it. USC stands out in a number of ways; interestingly enough, it houses the largest Ernest Hemingway collection in the world. Offering more than 350 programs of study, the school has produced many notable alumni, including a few governors of South Carolina and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. USC alums report a median return of investment of $239,100, so the school easily offers the value of college education South Carolina residents benefit from greatly.